Alexandre Mars Epic event with TLA
This was a call for drastic and systemic action. Epic is leading a call for large corporates to “pledge 1% of their profit”. Alexandre also advocated for a 2% pledge from founders of tech companies! He is leading Epic on a worldwide movement and reaching out to the “15 cities of money hubs”.
Alexandre Mars, Founder/CEO of Epic Foundation was in London on 22nd March. He addressed “Tech London Advocates (TLA)” group about his disruptive vision on philanthropy.
Epic was founded in 2014 and is a global not-for-profit startup. Epic bridges the gap between a new generation of individual and corporate donors and organisations supporting children and youth. They have developed new tools focused on enhancing how donors select, monitor and experience their impact. The vision is to disrupt the philanthropic industry by combining passion and expertise with game- changing technology and partnerships.
The event was jointly hosted by Epic and Tech London Advocates (TLA). It was held at Mortons, Berkeley Square,and a sandwich buffet served before the talk while guests were able to mingle and network. The event kicked off with Russ Shaw prompting the audience to self-introduce and help guests see where they could support the network -the solid premise on which he founded TLA.
Alexandre the Innovator
Alexandre is a passionate young man (under 40!), french native who peppers his English sentences with the descriptive “Super”. He explained his background as a serial tech entrepreneur and was modest about his accomplishments. He explained this as “riding the crest of the waves”, that is he founded his several startups as a pioneer (in France) and was able to sell at top value when the tech sector became valued. His last two startups, Phonevalley (a mobile marketing agency) and ScrOOn (a social media management system), were sold to Publicis Groupe and Blackberry. A longstanding member of the technology community, Alexandre continues to invest in high-growth technology companies through his family office Blisce/, including Spotify, Pinterest and Blablacar.
Epic Operating costs
Epic has been self-funded by Alexandre with operational costs of approx usd 3m/year. The Epic operational costs are borne by his holdings and the transparent accounting is a model to ensure giving by corporates. Since the board of Epic covers all of its costs, 100% of donations go directly to the NGOs and each donor can be confident about the impartiality of action.
Alexandre gave his presentation, using slides, to explain the mission,”Drive people to do Good” and Goals of Epic.
Corporates are the Key enabler
His main target are the Large (multinational) corporates,since the Cities (and States) are stretched by the demands of social inequality. He explained that the millennial generation were the vanguard for this new “wave of giving”. “In 3 years 80% of the work force will be millennial”. He has feedback that the top interview questions with corporates were on their “value add” to society, which went past the CSR approach currently taken.
The Epic business model
It was designed to address the impediments/issues that stopped giving
1. Selection (Trust and Transparency)
2. Monitoring (Time)
3. Experience (Knowledge)
He explained the methodology used 45 data points, while the portfolio was refreshed every year.
He dropped several nuggets…”it’s all about social disruption”; “20% of (millennial) graduates want to be social entrepreneurs”. He ended with “ Giving has not taken from my wealth, it has added to it“.
Q & A session
There was ample time for a Q & A session which went into a philosophical discourse on topics such as charity giving ,social entrepreneurship, corporate giving, diversity and Alexandre was generous enough to give 121 with guests. The Epic staff, who were present, then provided VR headsets for guests to see the impact made by the available programmes. I certainly left the event enthused and motivated by his vision.